top of page
Zion logo


 Hip Hop Dance & Music School


At Zion Studios, we want to make the most of our opportunities to positively invest in the lives of young people and our community.  We have developed a range of internal programmes that stand along-side our hip hop dance tuition that are designed to build a variety of life-skills, work-skills, a strong sense of self and personal identity, and develop resilience and general well-being.  We foster strength-based leadership and development in staff and students, building enduring relationships and a whanau vibe.

hinengaro (mental health).



Ki te kore nga putake e mākukungia e kore te rakau e tupu
If the roots of the tree are not watered the tree will never grow


Here at Zion, we acknowledge that the need to feel excepted, to feel safe and to be given tools on how to navigate through life's unavoidable challenges is becoming more prevalent in this day and age.  It is important to us to offer a high level of professional dance, but is just as important to  provide young people the environment and the tools to develop themselves physically,  mentally and emotionally.


All Zion students not only enjoy investment in their dance skills, but also in their personal confidence and provision of a space to express personal growth in a physical manner.  NOIZ Academy takes this further by proactively incorporating aspects of the Te Whare Tapa Wha model.  This model of working with people was created by Mason Durie in 1982 and has been used ever since to help understand health and what can help an individual to have good health.

Te Whare Tapa Wha is based on the four pillars of the wharenui (meeting house).  Just as each corner of the house must be strong and balanced to hold its structure, each dimension of well-being must be balanced for good health to exist. The four aspects of Te Whare Tapa Wha are; taha tinana (physical health), taha whanau (family and relationships), taha wairua (spirituality) and taha hinengaro (mental health).

This fits perfectly with our intention to help people to grow in a way that is mindful of their balanced wellbeing so is an ideal model from us to draw on for our NOIZ Academy and other leadership development programmes.


NOIZ Academy (ZION spelled backwards) is a programme dedicating time where all advanced students will learn together and strengthen the family atmosphere at Zion Studios.  It is a big achievement as well as a big responsibility to be a part of an advanced crew and NOIZ academy. We want to provide students with further support in a more holistic manner to help them achieve their goals and dreams, both for themselves and as a part of Zion Studios.


How we aim to do this:

  • To holistically develop each dancer involved by incorporating times to explore life skills and life events that our group may be experiencing (taha hinengaro and taha wairua) and to collectively develop and invest in each other.

  • To strengthen the relationships and family vibe of Zion by helping students get to know each other and support one and other through open and safe communication and learning opportunities (taha whanau) undertaken with other students and teachers beyond their individual crews.

  • To further strengthen Zion values in our studio (taha wairua, taha whanau and taha hinengaro).

  • To further strengthen and develop the skill levels of each dancer and their learning capacity (taha tinana).

  • To build an understanding of what it looks and feels like to be part of a positive, engaged community


NOIZ Academy sessions run from 5:15-6:45pm weekly on a Monday night during the Zion term – other than on the first Monday of term.

Typically, NOIZ sessions begin with a portion of sharing time where a Zion staff member or guest speaker will speak about a life experience or life value, or we will run an activity based around various relevant topics.  Students then have the opportunity to talk about these or other topics as needed in small groups with Zion staff members or appointed delegates.

After that we will have some kind of dance based development. This time may consist of encouraging confidence when free-styling, building on technique aspects, learning or creating choreography, working in larger groups or smaller groups to create or learn their own dances, learning other styles of dance and hip hop or learning about other aspects of dance performance such as styling or music choices.  Dance sessions will be taken by Zion teachers or a guest teacher.


Occasionally we will become aware of a particular issue that is impacting our students – eg. an event at school or creating waves via social media – that we invite expert professionals to explore in a NOIZ session.  If this is considered a sensitive topic all parents/caregivers may be required to give specific approval in advance for their student to attend this session.  Alternatives will be provided for students who don’t receive permission for this teaching.


The internship programme was designed with two outcomes in mind:

  • As we have a strong sense of who we are and how want operate, it is very important that those in employment and leadership roles understand and align with this. The best way to do this is to develop future leadership from within the school.  Those who have experienced the way our kaupapa is outworked are best placed to understand what we are looking to achieve and why certain things are important.

  • It is also really important to us that we provide opportunities for our students to learn more than dance moves. That we can also help them develop into people who are well placed to grow into the best version of themselves and go on to be great community builders themselves.​

Learning is undertaken with hands-on involvement in classes and events and through a number of training sessions and workshops run throughout the year.  These training sessions will not only develop a variety of dance styles and techniques, but also life and career skills such as professional behaviour, time management,  communication, classroom management, CV writing, strength identification etc.

Some of our interns will go on to teach classes as Zion.  However, this is neither compulsory nor guaranteed.  Being part of this programme will ensure that participants finish the year with a range of new skills, experiences and growth that will benefit them in their future, and that they will have positively served the Zion whanau while benefitting from that training.

While it is true that interns are a valuable resource for the running of Zion, it is important to understand that the programme is not about the school simply sourcing “free labour”.  In fact, significant cost in time, heart, effort and money is proactively invested into participants during their year in the programme.  We take very seriously our opportunity to invest in their future while they serve the school; by working in partnership we create an awesome win-win.


We have chosen you as an intern because we see something special and unique in you. We believe in you, your dance ability and your leadership potential.  However, we have some key expectations:

  • Consider your acceptance properly: Development programme roles are hard work (for you and for us) and should not be entered into lightly.  If you accept, please understand that others will be relying on you and you will need to properly commit your time and energy to it so we both receive benefit for our investment.

  • Use your initiative: ​If you see something that needs to be done no matter how big or small (whether it be noticing unusual or dangerous behaviour in someone or rubbish on the ground), please do something about it or take it to someone that can.

  • ​Be a positive role model: Remember how it felt when you had (or still have) someone that you look up to – be worthy of that.  This means to giving everything your best shot and honouring the opportunity that you have to invest in people.  Outwork positive behaviours for others to copy – such as watching your language, shutting down gossip, being kind, looking after yourself and others.  As a team member there is a higher expectation of you than there has been of you as a student.  You are a representative of the heart and integrity of Zion and its foundation values.  There is also a greater visibility of your behaviour and attitude. This means that students, parents, teachers and others take note of what you do and say and that manner in which you do them.  Be very mindful of your position as a role model to others – whether you are carrying out your duties or in a class as a student.

  • Be open and honest: ​Zion and Northgate management are all here to support you.  If things aren’t feeling right, whether it is dance related or relational, don’t shut yourself off with it.  Please take those opportunities to share any concerns before things become too hard to manage.

  • Be involved as much as you can: ​While being an intern can be fun and games, it is also about hard work.  As we put time and effort into helping to develop your leadership and workplace skills, please remember that we also need your help to continue other projects.

  • ​Be respectful of our faith components: It is important to note that Zion is a faith-based organization with core people who loves God.  This is an integral part of the organisation’s DNA and our values and guidelines reflect our desire to outwork the love of Jesus by investing in people and community.  Although we don’t preach, our faith foundation is visible in many components of Zion life.  While we do not have any requirement that staff, students, or anyone who engages with us shares our Christian faith, it is important that you recognise and respect that it is a key part of who we are and you are comfortable in a Christian environment, respecting the resulting values and expectations.


Having the opportunity to work with a great team of teachers, management and other supporters! They are all committed to investing in your future and awesome people to spend time with.

  • You will not be charged to attend any Zion workshops held throughout the year. Workshops will include a wide range of skills that will be useful to you in your future, as well as dance technique.

  • ​You will receive expert tuition in a variety of dance, work and life skills and end up with hard copies of a number of valuable training resources​​

  • We will actively seek to know you and find opportunities for development that fit your unique personality, gifts and goals

  • You will be included in staff meetings and celebrations unless we have a specific topic that is inappropriate to involve you with.

  • You will experience the satisfaction of paying it forward – investing in others while receiving investment in you

  • You can purchase Zion merchandise at cost price

  • We will provide you with a reference/ testimonial that you can include with your CV

We’ll also celebrate your birthday (let us know if you don’t like chocolate!)

Zion logo
Zion Dance Studios
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
bottom of page